Safa technical committee makes Al Ahly mentor Pitso Mosimane the top priority for the Bafana job

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
Al Ahly Head Coach Mosimane Pitso during the semi-final match between Al Ahly SC and FC Bayern Muenchen at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on February 8, 2021 in Doha, Qatar.
Al Ahly Head Coach Mosimane Pitso during the semi-final match between Al Ahly SC and FC Bayern Muenchen at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on February 8, 2021 in Doha, Qatar.
Image: Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

The group of people tasked with finding a new Bafana Bafana coach will recommend to the South African Football Association's (Safa) National Executive Committee that the plum job should be offered to revered Al Ahly mentor Pitso Mosimane.

Safa are in a desperate race against time to find a coach after sacking Molefi Ntseki last month and the new man will need to hit the ground running as the 2022 Qatar Fifa World Cup qualifiers start in June.

Insiders close to the developments told TimesLIVE on Thursday that the Technical Committee met for the first time on Wednesday and convincing Mosimane to return to Safa House was identified as the top priority.

“A number of issues were discussed during the Technical Committee meeting that lasted for about five hours on Wednesday and one of those issues was proposing to the NEC to try their best to bring coach Pitso back to Bafana Bafana‚” said one insider.

“With all due respect to other coaches in the country and elsewhere‚ Pitso has the necessary experience and profile to coach Bafana.

"Of course‚ they [the members of the Technical Committee] are aware that he [Mosimane] is contracted to Al Ahly‚ but their view is that it won’t hurt to engage him and see if he will consider coming to serve his country.”

The members of the Safa Technical Committee are: chairman Jack Maluleka‚ his deputy Bhuda Mathate‚ Greg Mashilo‚ Sudesh Singh‚ Mzwandile Mnqamkani‚ Litheko Marago‚ Anna Nyaman‚ Mziwanele Wopa‚ Thozamile Lugayeni‚ David Molwantoa‚ Boebie Solomons‚ David Nyathi‚ Dr Thulani Ngwenya‚ Simphiwe Mkhangelwa and Thebe Sekoto.

Mosimane worked as assistant to Brazilian Carlos Alberto Parreira during the 2010 Fifa World Cup in SA and then ascended to the top job after the tournament until his departure from Safa House in 2012.

During his short stint as Bafana coach‚ the national team failed to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea after team management misinterpreted rules.

After leaving the Bafana job under acrimonious circumstance in 2012‚ he joined Mamelodi Sundowns and proceeded to blaze a trail that has assured him a place in the continental history books. He won several titles while at Chloorkop‚ including five league championships‚ the Caf Champions League and the Super Cup.

He joined Egyptian powerhouses Al Ahly last year and has continued to achieve several milestones in the north of the continent.

International coaches like former Colombia and Real Madrid coach Carlos Queiroz‚ the well-travelled Hervé Renard and Belgian Hugo Broos have also been linked to the Bafana job‚ but another insider said a significant majority of the Technical Committee members are opposed to hiring a foreign coach.

“There are names of foreign coaches that were mentioned but the general feeling among members is that a local coach must take over the team‚" the insider said.

"You must remember that there is no time for a [foreign] coach to come here‚ a person who will still have to get to know the players when the World Cup qualifiers are starting so soon.

“The sense is that a local coach will be advantageous under the circumstances because of a knowledge of the players and South African conditions and the opposition.”

If the committee fails to convince Mosimane‚ several other local coaches could come into the picture‚ including the unattached Eric Tinkler‚ Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Steve Komphela and Benni McCarthy at AmaZulu.

Tinkler took Orlando Pirates and SuperSport to the finals of the Caf Confederations Cup while Komphela has coached Bafana before‚ albeit in a caretaker capacity‚ and also had a spell in the junior national teams.

McCarthy's stock risen since joining AmaZulu last year and guiding the Durban side to third place at the weekend.